This paper seeks to inform discussions on possible relief measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the African continent.
The paper argues that applying a "multiple water use" approach, where water from the same source or infrastructure has multiple
uses and functions, would contribute to fighting the pandemic while ensuring basic needs relating to food security in rural
communities.Uncertainties tied to the impacts of COVID-19 on daily life are growing. These impacts go beyond the well-defined
sphere of health risks and have affected livelihoods and food security in several countries. Irrigation has an important role
in improving crop productivity and ensuring food security, but expanding irrigation can affect the availability of water for
sanitation and hygiene (WASH), which has a central role in slowing the spread of the disease. For this reason, irrigation
development has to comply with increasingly critical WASH requirements.In line with the concept of multiple water use, the
'SMART irrigation - SMART wash' initiative proposes corporate solutions to enhance both irrigation and the provision of water
for sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities to vulnerable communities, thereby responding to critical needs in times of pandemic.